Magnificent orchestration, vibrant vocals, nearly flawless tech make Herndon’s “Brigadoon” a joyful location to revisit every hundred years!


Pictured: Megan Overton as Jean MacLaren and cast (Lynn Gabriel)
December 7, 2012

All reviews are written by Cappies student critics and edited by Cappies adult mentors prior to publishing.

Jamie Joeyen-Waldorf, a student at Langley High School , reviews “Brigadoon” performed by Herndon High School as part of The Cappies Critics and Awards Program .

“Oh, ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road” and we’ll venture through the highlands of Scotland and its quaint villages. Take it all in, because who knows when one just might vanish! With humor and romance, the audience was whisked away into the lush Scottish mountains of Herndon High School’s delightful, heartwarming musical, Brigadoon.

A product of the dynamic composing duo Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music), Brigadoon premiered on Broadway in 1947 and has subsequently enjoyed several revivals and adaptations, including a 1954 film starring Gene Kelly. As two New York gentlemen, Tommy Albright and Jeff Douglas, embark on a journey in Scotland, they stumble upon a mysterious village that, unbeknownst to them, appears only once every hundred years. Under a pact with God, no residents of Brigadoon may leave or else the town disappears forever. Immediately, the two men are enchanted by the town’s charm and Tommy soon falls in love with a young woman, Fiona MacLaren. Yet, their love is later challenged as the day draws to a close and Tommy must decide whether he will stay in Brigadoon forever with Fiona or leave to go back home.

Battling an injured ankle suffered the night before, Molly Nuss as female lead Fiona MacLaren handled the physical setback with professionalism and grace, performing various scenes in a wheelchair and crutches. Nuss didn’t let these distractions hinder her facial emotions or interactions with other characters and stayed consistently animated, all while maintaining an authentic Scottish accent. Clearly a sophisticated singer, Nuss always hit high notes with ease and achieved a rich, pure sound. Opposite Nuss and equally as talented vocally was Paul Morgan as Tommy Albright. Morgan’s pleasant falsetto and superb enunciation were an additional highlight. The two connected believably together in a romantic relationship that seemed real and unforced.

Chris Hrozencik skillfully played Tommy’s friend, Jeff Douglas with impeccable comedic timing and characterization. From fending off the flirtatious Meg Brockie (Amy Freeman) to a hilarious drunk scene, Hrozencik’s sarcasm and witty one-liners always elicited a good laugh. Similarly, Freeman’s constant energy and dedication to her part were clearly apparent. Also notable were Cameron Copeland as Charlie Dalrymple and Megan Overton as Jean MacLaren, Brigadoon newlyweds. Both displayed their aesthetically challenging and well-developed dance skills, including spot-on ballet technique and couple dancing. Though there were some projection issues and inconsistent accents, the efforts of the cast culminated in a highly enjoyable, endearing production.

The orchestra maintained an unwavering full, resonant sound without overpowering the singers and kept the show moving along. Hair and makeup gave each actor a distinct identity and allowed them to avoid being washed out with stage lights. Despite some ongoing microphone cracks and slow scene changes, the technical crew handled the execution of organizing eighteen body microphones and moving several massive set pieces admirably.

Filled with comedy and enchantment, Brigadoon essentially captured the lengths to which two people will go to be with one another and showed that when you love someone deeply enough, anything is possible. Even miracles.

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